Alcoholic Types

Many people have a pretty stereotypical image in mind when thinking about alcoholism. However, there’s actually several alcoholic types and categories. Knowing the most common forms can help you better understand what alcohol abuse really looks like…

Alcoholic Types: Most Common Forms

Young Adult

The most prevalent of the alcoholic types is the young adult subtype. The NIAAA believes that nearly 32% of those who struggle with alcohol abuse are in this category. Usually, those in this category are slightly below, at, or above the drinking age. Many of them tend to be college students in particular.

This group tends to be at a higher risk than others because they’re in environments that encourage heavy drinking. In fact, 90% of the drinking done by this group is binge drinking. Plus, because they don’t think it’s an issue, they won’t seek help, Rather, they think it’s “normal” because others around them do the same.

Young antisocial

The next most common alcoholic type is the young antisocial subtype. Usually, these are people in their mid-20’s who started drinking at a much young age. Many of them also struggle with other mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder.

For these individuals, drinking can be a form of self-medicating. Alcohol can help them feel more relaxed and outgoing than they would be otherwise. Of course, this can be dangerous, as many of those in this subtype have poor impulse control. This causes them to drink heavily and constantly.


While the functional subtype isn’t the most common alcoholic type, it is still pretty prevalent. Also, it can be the hardest to properly identify. Those in this category appear to be “fine” on the outside, having a stable job or a family. This goes against what most people think of when they consider what alcohol abuse looks like.

The reality is these people are sort-of living a double life. In between their other responsibilities, they’ll usually be drinking. That could even mean they find ways to drink while at work or throughout the day. While they may not think it’s a problem, this constant intake is very unhealthy.